With the pandemic’s second wave subsiding, state-run and private colleges across Karnataka would resume classes from Monday, Deputy Chief Minister CN Ashwath Narayan said on Sunday.
“All higher education institutions, including under-graduate and post-graduate, engineering and polytechnic colleges across the state will reopen on Monday to resume classes as per the guidelines to ensure Covid appropriate behaviour,” Narayan said in a statement here.
Regular classes in colleges and universities were suspended since mid-March as the pandemic’s second wave began in the state and online classes were held to ensure continuity.
“The decision to reopen colleges from July 26 was taken as per the advice of the committee of health experts, which recommended easing Covid curbs in a calibrated manner to contain the virus spread,” said Narayan.
Narayan, a medical doctor by profession, holds portfolios of higher education, IT, BT and Science and Technology in the BJP-ruled government.
“As per the standard operating procedures (SOP), students who took at least one dose of anti-Covid vaccine will be allowed to attend regular classes. The same norm applies to teachers and non-teaching staff,” said Narayan.
Students have to submit a consent letter from their parents in a prescribed format to attend classes in colleges and universities.
The Union Ministry of Home Affairs and the Union Ministry of Health have issued SOP and guidelines to comply by all the higher education institutions.
“Wearing mask and physical distance between students are mandatory during class hours. Institutions have to take into account the number of students and class rooms available to ensure social distancing,” the minister said.
The students are given the option of attending online classes and contact classes will be held to facilitate for clarifying doubts.
According to the state health department, 74 per cent students above 18 years of age have been vaccinated so far across the state.
Institutions have also been advised to map with the nearest primary health centres for testing students and faculty if found with Covid symptoms.
The colleges have to sanitise all areas, including furniture, laptops and computers to maintain hygiene.
“Teachers should send content material of each period covering the syllabus for one month in advance through WhatsApp, e-mail or Telegram. The content can be in the form of video lectures, power-point presentations, e-notes, e-books, audiobooks and practice questions,” added Narayan.